You're in for a treat if you haven't met Trudy Stump yet.
She heads up Huff Harrington Design and we're all in constant awe of her exquisite taste, superior design skills and the way she effortlessly creates beautiful spaces.
Did we mention she's also fun, funny and the friendliest person we've ever met?
Trudy joined us four years ago with an impressive resume that includes years of work at the Gap companies, West Elm and Serena and Lily. We love her sunny disposition and optimism, her fearless approach to design - and her sense of humor.
Not only does Trudy spin her magic here in Atlanta, but she's no stranger to Paris and Italy where she works on projects with Ann and Huff Harrington Paris. There's literally nothing this gal won't do, including lugging dozens of bags and boxes on the Metro for a Paris install.
In between all the design work and masterminding the merchandising on the first floor, Trudy's a busy gal. But we were able to sit down with her to pick her brain about some of her favorite design tips.
And here they are:
The magic is in the mix: this is our mantra around here and we repeat it at least five times a day. What does this mean? It means you can think like ying and yang when you're designing a space. If you're placing an 18th century walnut chest in a room, use a sleek, mid-century chair on either side. Do you have a crunchy, crusty old painting you inherited from your Aunt Betty? Place it between modern lamps and a clean-lined sassy console. Think in opposites. The good news about the mix is that most of us already have a great mix of styles in our homes but you may not even know it.
Have fun with your art: repeat after me - buy what you love, buy what you love, buy what you love.
Wallpaper is your secret weapon: we love wallpaper and use it in the most unexpected places, like bathrooms, laundry rooms and even elevators to create a visual surprise. Wallpaper is great for concealing awkward ceiling lines and creates a sense of cohesiveness in a disjointed room. It can hide a multitude of issues!
Examples of Trudy's magic around the store. She applies all her rules, all the time.
Think in layers: sort of like adding a cute scarf to a t-shirt and jeans, layers in design add depth, dimension and interest to a room. This is an example of how I like to layer: on a coffee table, place a sleek tray. On the tray, add three coffee table books. On top of the coffee table books, add a little decorative item or even a little painting. Next to the tray, add a crystal bud vase with a fresh gardenia in it. Et voila. Now you have some interest - layers - on your coffee table.
This is a great example of layering, using texture and having fun with a snakeskin inspired wallpaper from Thibuaut. From the 2022 Home for the Holidays showhouse. Photo by David Christensen.
Embrace texture: what I mean by this is: you gain visual interest when you embrace texture. For example, a nubbly throw on a linen sofa. On a hand-thrown, rough ceramic vase on a polished marble countertop. I love to think in opposites when I'm looking at texture so that I'm always pairing smooth with bumpy, sleek with crunchy, metallic with matte. You get the idea.
A good rug gets you to the finish line: so often, we'll be asked to help out in rooms where things just feel off. Many times the culprit turns out to be a too-small rug. If it's too small, the furniture will feel ungrounded as if it's just floating around the room. Rule of thumb: try to position the furniture on the rug. If that can't happen, make sure at least the front legs are on the rug - and always, always measure before ordering a rug!
Check out the wallpaper on the ceiling - and a nice large rug that fits the space perfectly.
And finally, here are a few of my other favorite design go-to's:
-make sure your space is pretty - but also functional and most important, comfortable
-scale and proportion are the foundations of good design
-don't forget the details
-and, best of all, have fun with your design!
Interested in a chat with Trudy about your space? You can reach her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org We know you'll love her!